Truth or Dare

“She doesn’t hate him,” said Callen with a grin.

“Well, she sure as hell isn’t feeling any love toward him right now,” said Sam. “He’ll be in the doghouse for a while.”

“Yeah. Sleeping with Monty,” added Callen.

“Think they’ve done it yet?” wondered Sam.

“Nah. Too much tension still in the air. It’ll be crystal-clear when that line is breached.”

Sam laughed. “Says the guy with an abundance of experience with women.”

“Mark my words,” said Callen.

Deeks paused at the front door of the Mission. Was it that obvious how he felt about Kensi and where he wanted their relationship to go? Yeah, I guess it is.

Callen’s statement struck a nerve with him. Once again he’d screwed up without even realizing it. It seemed he took one step forward with Kensi, then two backward. Why can’t I get it right?

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He was not looking forward to facing an irate Kensi for the drive home. She’ll be so happy to drive tomorrow that she’ll leave me in the dust, then back up over me to make a point.

Kensi leaned against the passenger door of Deeks’ car with arms folded over her chest and a scowl on her face. Her breathing and heart rate were slowly returning to normal. All she wanted to do was get home and away from Deeks for a while. If he didn’t come out in a minute, she was going to call a cab. She was reaching for her phone when he walked up and stopped in front of her.

“Look, Kens, I’m sorry. I had no idea . . .”

“No more talking,” said Kensi. She held up a hand hoping to forestall him. No such luck as he carried on anyway.

“I had no idea you were so freaked out by, well, you know, because you act all Wonder Womanish all the time. You never once said . . .”

“Open the door. I want to go home.”

Deeks stood there staring at her with those baby-blues she found so fascinating. He was trying to wear her down and they both knew it.

“Please,” she whispered.

“Please? Of course, since you asked so nicely.” He grinned and opened her door then went around to his side and got in. They fastened their seatbelts, but Deeks did not start the engine. He turned toward Kensi. She looked straight ahead, but could sense Deeks watching her.

“Okay, what if we never mention this again and I promise to always protect you from rodents, both real and fake?” he pleaded.

Kensi continued to stare out the windshield.

“Kensi, can you please look at me? This is really awkward. And I hate it when things are awkward between us.”

Slowly, she turned to him. “Fine. We will never, ever mention this again. EVER! Understood? EVER!” Her fists were clenched, but then she made an effort to relax.

“Loud and clear,” he agreed. He wanted to take her hand, but feared she would slap him away.

“You want to grab some dinner on the way home?” he asked as he started the car.

“Not tonight. I have a date,” said Kensi.

Deeks looked sharply at her. “A date?” That was about the last thing he expected to come out of her mouth. He scrutinized her face for several seconds and decided to call her on it. “Liar.”

She frowned. “I am not a liar. My date is at 7:30.”

“Did Sabatino ask you out?” Deeks was 99 percent sure she was only jerking him around for the toupee incident. However, it was that tiny little one percent that worried him. And that could be all it took for some other guy to steal her away from him.

“Where are you going? Should you be having a date on a work night? I hope you’re not going dancing because you just got out of that boot this afternoon. You should take it easy for a few days.”

Kensi gave a disgusted snort and glared at him. “Who are you, my mother? Even she doesn’t ask this many questions.”

“I am your concerned partner and apparently nothing more.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing,” mumbled Deeks. “It means nothing.”

“Well, it sounded like something to me.”

Deeks pulled up to Kensi’s apartment and checked his watch. “It’s 6:40. You should have plenty of time to get ready for your . . . date.

“Deeks, I do have a date at 7:30.” She paused to let the anticipation build. “With a yoga mat. At Stella’s Yoga Studio.” She allowed a hint of a smile to creep into her face.

“Yoga? Really? Will Sabatino be there, wearing spandex?”

“What? You’re being an idiot. Maybe you should date him. You seem so obsessed with him.”

Deeks had no reply to that.

“I haven’t been able to go with that stupid fracture and I really missed it.”

Deeks shrugged. “Sure. I guess you’ll want to drive tomorrow?”

“Definitely. I’ll pick you up.”

“Fine,” said Deeks.

“Okay, fine.”

Kensi went inside and Deeks drove away. But instead of going home, he circled the block and parked on a side street. His joke with the toupee backfired on him big time and caused a rift with Kensi. I really am an idiot. He considered the situation for a few moments. He’d apologized and Kensi seemed to accept it, but it wasn’t always easy to know went on in his partner’s mind or any woman’s, for that matter.

He should get home and check on Monty, but decided to call his landlady and ask her to take him out. Sometimes he had to do that when their workday ran long.

Is Kensi really going to a yoga class? Only one way to find out. I’m a detective so I’ll do some detecting.

He settled down in his seat to wait her out.

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